Aviation (including aerospace and defence) in India

Gagrats

Rustam Gagrat, aviation head at Gagrats, handles all manner of transactions in the sector including aircraft financing, aircraft acquisitions, cross-border leasing, sale and leaseback arrangements and equipment leasing. Clients include domestic carriers and international airlines. Aviation authorities retain the team for regulatory and policy advice.

Kochhar & Co.

Kochhar & Co.'s aviation and defence practice provides a global client base of airlines, industry organisations, operators and corporates in the defence sector with the breadth of contentious and non-contentious services. Practice heads Rohit Kochhar and Ajith CR (taking over from former practice head Piyush Gupta) handle aircraft financing, regulatory support, contractual negotiations and supply and maintenance transactions. The team also advises financial organisations on aircraft and component acquisitions and leasing negotiations. Ongoing contentious instructions for Nishant Menon include representing international airlines in cargo-related litigation and the International Air Transport Association in challenges to tariff orders.

Practice head(s):

Rohit Kochhar; Ajith CR

Other key lawyers:

Nishant Menon

Testimonials

The individuals from Kochhar & Co. have the knowledge and expertise on one hand as well as the attitude to manage and deliver on expectations which is remarkable.

Key clients

Singapore Airlines Limited

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Alion Sciences

Embraer S.A

Air France / KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

British Airways

Emirates Airlines

Rishworth Aviation Advisory Services

Work highlights

  • Represented Embraer on a wide range of Indian law matters including aircraft repossession matters, complex commercial contracts, advice on contractual disputes with third parties, and advice on defence and government tender documents.
  • Advised IATA on the implications of the judgement passed by The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal AERAAT in relation to the fixation of tariffs at the Mumbai and the Delhi airports. Also represented IATA on high-stakes disputes pertaining to commercial contracts.
  • Assisted Singapore Airlines with a significant expansion of its business portfolio, advising on contract review and documentation, policy making, negotiations with vendors, suppliers and governmental agencies as well as several ongoing and confidential corporate restructurings.

Link Legal

Under practice heads Atul Sharma and Anand Srivastava, Link Legal fields a top-tier aviation practice for domestic and international airlines, while also leading the the market for the provision of legal services to major private airport operators. Highlight work regarding the latter concerns engineering, procurement and construction support for extensive greenfield airport projects. Abhishek Sharma enhances the contentious offering; core client SpiceJet is currently engaging the team on high-value grounding disputes, CCI investigations, and arbitration proceedings concerning share purchase agreements. The full range of transactional support is provided, including aircraft acquisitions, financing, leasing arrangements and government approval procedures for airline operations.

Practice head(s):

Atul Sharma; Anand Srivastava

Testimonials

The team has an excellent balance of experts with experience in handling infrastructure projects and airports. They have exhibited their expertise in taxation, dispute resolution and arbitration matters.

We have worked with multiple partners of Link Legal including Atul Sharma, Anand Srivastava, Mr. Milanka Chaudhury, Milind Jha, and Ravi Varma. The team has experience and expertise in multiple domains of corporate legal service and their turnaround time is minimal for any of our service requests compared to our other legal consultants. They are available at any time for the service and go beyond their capacity to help. They have an excellent network with other top lawyers in the Supreme Court and High Courts and can bring them on board for supporting the case whenever required.

Key clients

SpiceJet Limited

Global Infrastructure Partners India LLP

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited

National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust

GMR Goa International Airport Limited

Bangalore International Airport Limited

Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited

Delhi Aviation Fuel Facility Private Limited

Delhi International Airport Limited

IDBI Capital Markets & Securities Limited

YES Securities (India) Limited

Kalyan Jewellers Limited

Turbo Aviation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited on the engineering, procurement and construction of a greenfield airport at Navi Mumbai.
  • Advising GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited on the commissioning, operation and maintenance of the Bidar Airport.
  • Advising SpiceJet on the sale and leaseback of Boeing aircraft and engines in one of the largest deal in Indian aviation history.

RNClegal

RNClegal advises international aircraft leasing companies from the US, MENA and APAC regions on large-scale transactions to Indian operators. Disputes involving defaults and repossessions are also handled. Key names include practice head Ajay Kumar, Ravi Nath and principle associate Neha Singh.

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners’ aviation practice handled the breadth of transactional services including aircraft leasing, financing, short and long-term debt negotiations for aircraft acquisitions, and all relevant commercial and regulatory support. Practice head Anand Shah is retained by a roster of multinational lessors, financiers and aerospace corporations. Maintenance contract negotiations for engines and components are also provided. With support from the firm’s corporate and restructuring partners, the team handles high-value insolvency processes, such as the advice provided to the Resolution Professional of Jet Airways’ bankruptcy. The practice has been boosted by Anuja Tiwari who has joined from DSK Legal.

Practice head(s):

Anand Shah

Other key lawyers:

Anuja Tiwari

Key clients

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

GECAS

BNP Paribas

CMB International Leasing

SDH Wings International Leasing Limited

Hong Kong and Sanghai Banking Corporation

TATA SIA Airlines Limited

ICBC Financial Leasing

Bank of America Leasing

Abu Dhabi Aviation

Landesbank Hessen–Thüringen Girozentrale

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Resolution Professional of Jet Airways with the ongoing corporate insolvency process of Jet Airways (India), which has a debt of 30,0000 crores.
  • Acted as Indian counsel to Abu Dhabi Aviation, which has proposed to lease one Bell helicopter to Thumby Aviation, a non–scheduled operator.
  • Acted as Indian law counsel to BNP Paribas and ICBC Financial Leasing in relation to the Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option and financing of the portfolio of four aircraft currently on lease to Go Airlines.

J Sagar Associates

J Sagar Associates’ aviation practice is strong on the litigation front under co-head Poonam Verma who represents and defends international airlines in disputes arising from commercial agreements, tendering processes and the determination of aeronautical tariffs and levies. Solid regulatory knowledge and interpretations are supplied by co-head Amit Kapur, while Shivpriya Nanda is advising on major airport privatisation projects. The team’s corporate expertise is applied to cross-border joint venture projects (including exits), aircraft leasings and aircraft financing transactions.

Key clients

Federation of Indian Airlines

Hahn Air

Fraport AG

Menzies Aviation

Airports Authority of India

LOT Polish Airlines

Work highlights

  • Represented the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) in matters involving the determination of aeronautical tariffs at the Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports.
  • Represented Hahn Air in disputes in relation to the agency agreement signed by the agent of the Airline in terms of International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolutions. The dispute pertained to fraudulent credit card transactions in the issuance of tickets by an agent of the Airline.
  • Advised Fraport AG on the proposed privatisation of certain airports in India.

L&L Partners Law Offices

L&L Partners Law Offices  is regarded for its aircraft and airport financing and lending expertise supplied to domestic and international airlines and developers. Joint ventures between aerospace manufactures are handled by the team, as well as maintenance contracts, parts procurements and vendor contracts.

Sarin & Co.

Aviation specialist Sarin & Co. has a strong aircraft leasing and financing offering, provided to high-profile international lessors and financial services clients via practice head Nitin Sarin. The team has also witnessed a considerable uptick in default and repossession instructions. International airlines, including noteworthy US names, also retain the team for regulatory guidance for their Indian operations, while on the contentious side, baggage and cargo claims in the consumer courts are regularly handled by the firm’s litigation partners.

Practice head(s):

Nitin Sarin

Testimonials

Nitin Sarin is an approachable, helpful and practical person and an excellent lawyer.

Nitin Sarin is responsive, helpful and always available to provide advice. In addition, he and his team provide impressive knowledge of the Indian aviation market, and go above and beyond to deliver results.

Trilegal

Trilegal maintains a prominent foothold in the aerospace and defence market under the leadership of Yogesh Singh and Delano Furtado. Cutting-edge joint ventures in the fields of space exploration and drone technology are being handled, while multinational manufacturing companies retain the team for procurement strategy, often with the assistance of counsel Nitika Chharba and senior associate Gavin Pereira. Landmark US/India military contracts are currently being advised on, and satellite technology and telecoms companies are engaging the team on a range of regulatory, contractual and transactional issues. Advice is given to airlines regarding corporate restructuring, insolvency procedures, aircraft leasing and licensing, regulatory compliances and ground operations.

Practice head(s):

Yogesh Singh; Delano Furtado

Other key lawyers:

Nitika Chharba; Gavin Pereira

Key clients

Tata SIA Airlines Limited (Vistara)

MTU Aero Engines

Leonardo Spa

AgustaWestland International Limited

Embraer S.A.

SES S.A.

Amazon Web Services

Airbus

Boeing

Lohia Aerospace systems

Zipline International Inc.

Work highlights

  • AdvisingTata SIA Airlines Limited (Vistara) on various aspects of law related to its operations in India and aids it in drafting its internal policies and agreements.
  • Representing Leonardo Spa in the investigation by the CBI and Directorate of Enforcement in relation to allegations of bribery in a multimillion-dollar VVIP helicopter supply contract and related court proceedings.
  • Provided Airbus with a full-scale tax due diligence and tax advisory in relation to an acquisition of a major MRO operator in India.

Advaita Legal

Industry regulators and privately owned airports retain Advaita Legal’s aviation practice for regulatory and transactional support. Practice head Monali Dutta is currently advising on concession agreements for greenfield airports, the implementation of passenger processing services, redevelopment projects and negotiations with ground handling agencies and in-flight catering services.

Practice head(s):

Monali Dutta

Key clients

Airports Authority of India

Work highlights

  • Engaged as legal counsel by the Airports Authority of India in relation to appointment of agencies for enabling the implementation of passenger processing services at major airports operated by it.
  • Providing legal advice and assisting Airport Authority of India in preparation of model concession agreement for greenfield airports.

Advaya Legal

Advaya Legal’s aviation practice head Ramesh Vaidyanathan fields extensive knowledge in regards to airport developments, leveraging his prior in-house experience to advise on the development, operation, management and PPP structuring for domestic and international facilities. Other key services include ground handling operations, aircraft registrations/deregistrations, repossessions, leasing terminations and loan defaulting issues. The team also represents international airlines before the AERA Appellate Tribunal on challenges to tariff orders.

Practice head(s):

Ramesh Vaidyanathan

Key clients

GVK

AIC Title Service

Textron Financial Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising GVK in relation to its various projects in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
  • Advising Textron Financial Corporation on the deregistration and export of aircraft from India.
  • Conducting legal due diligence in respect of aircraft registered in India by AIC Title Service.

DSK Legal

The steadily growing aviation practice at DSK Legal is highly active in the airport sector, with operators engaging the team to provide full-scope advice on the development of greenfield projects in India and abroad. Government bodies also retain the team issues pertaining to PPP/PFI arrangements and negotiations, a service line recently buoyed by the recruitment of co-head Anjan Dasgupta from HSA Advocates and co-head Dinesh Pardasani from Link Legal - India Law Services. Commercial arbitrations in the airport sector are also handled. Ajay Shaw also co-heads the practice. 

Practice head(s):

Anjan Dasgupta; Dinesh; Ajay Shaw

Key clients

City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Limited

MIHAN India Limited

Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited

Mumbai International Airport Private Limited

Zurich Airport International AG

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund

DSR Consultants

GMR Goa International Airport Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised and assisted the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Limited kn the development of the greenfield Navi Mumbai International Airport on a PPP basis.
  • Advised Zurich Airport International AG on its bid to develop a greenfield airport (Noida International Airport) at Jewar, Noida on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.
  • Advising Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited on the greenfield development of the Pune international airport at Purandar, Pune.

I.L.A. Pasrich & Company

I.L.A. Pasrich & Company’s aviation practice enjoys long-standing relationships with high-profile international airlines, for which practice head Amir Singh Pasrich represents before the courts and tribunals in all manner of proceedings. Recent instructions focused on providing defence in consumer and competition disputes. Criminal litigation for senior executives is also handled. The team advises on aircraft leasings and licensing, employment matters and regulatory compliance.

Practice head(s):

Amir Singh Pasrich

Testimonials

I very much enjoy working with Amir Singh Pasrich, who is a valued adviser and trusted advocate. He and his associates are very forward-looking; the advice is never merely on the immediate question in hand, with Amir always thinking of the next steps before they happen. The output from the firm has been very good and has so far done the job for us. The firm has got us some really positive results in court, which we naturally hope will continue. We would, of course, recommend Amir and the firm.

Our association with the firm has been long standing and we have found their services and counsel to be extremely useful.

Their familiarity with aviation law, procedures and regulation is well known in the industry and we have enjoyed the ease with which they are able to offer quick and efficient solutions, timely advice and representation that has been cost effective. They proceed carefully and ensure that we are on board with their decisions. Mr. Pasrich understands his client, is insightful and a true professional.

Key clients

British Airways

Swiss International Air Lines

Delta Air Lines

Bristow Helicopters Group

Ashley Aviation

Ikigai Law

Under the leadership of Anirudh Rastogi, Ikigai Law has a focus on the emerging fields of technology in the aviation and aerospace sectors. Ongoing work concerns regulatory and commercial support for cutting-edge clients in unmanned aviation (i.e. drones), commercial space travel, charter flight technology and satellite manufacturing. Expertise on negotiating space launch contacts is provided, and litigation involving the tendering of drone contracts is also being handled. Conventional ground handling companies also retain the team for contract support.

Practice head(s):

Anirudh Rastogi

Testimonials

Anirudh Rastogi and his team are just awesome; they are prompt, proactive and diligent. Plus one USP they have over others is active development of domain expertise in aerospace/space-related structures and policy. Would also give full points to Neha Chaudhari and Tanya Sadana.

Anirudh give super overall advice, and clear-cut coherent solutions to all our problems.

Tanya Sadana is super prompt and gets the work done.

Ikigai Law has shown tremendous passion and drive to take on emerging areas and create a practice that helps new entrepreneurs navigate the challenges really effectively.

Anirudh Rastogi is really a class apart in terms of his conduct and professional knowledge. His clarity of thought and generous nature make him a great leader.

Smart. Diligent. Dedicated. Each and every person figures out multiple ways to deal with something. Really polite and approachable.

Darpan Singhi does his research very very thoroughly and provides insights others rarely even think about.

Key clients

Drone Federation of India

Pixxel Space

Janus Aviation

Saraswati Dynamics Pvt Ltd (SDYN)

Specific Impulse Technologies Pvt. Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the Drone Federation of India on legal, regulatory and policy matters; currently working with the client in facilitating industry comments for the ongoing public consultation in relation to the UAV Rules 2020.
  • Advised Pixxel Space which is developing a constellation of satellites for remote sensing applications on its contract manufacturing agreement for the manufacture of the satellite bus, the regulatory aspects of the development, and the spacecraft launch contract between Pixxel Space and GK Launch Services of Russia for a launch from Kazakhstan.
  • Assisted Janus Aviation on government tenders for ground handling services at airports across India.

Khaitan & Co.

Kabir Bogra is driving the aerospace and defence practice at Khaitan & Co LLP., and along with senior associate Tushaar Talwar, is advising on a range of joint ventures, procurements and industrial licensing matters. The client roster comprises international aircraft parts, engines and instruments suppliers and big-ticket OEMs. Regulatory advice is provided in relation to the establishment of manufacturing facilities and operations for multinational defence companies.

Practice head(s):

Kabir Bogra

Other key lawyers:

Tushaar Talwar

Key clients

Bird & Bird (referring law firm)

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitmann (referring law firm)

Elbit Systems

Gokaldas Images Private Limited

Axon Inc

James Fisher Defence

Aero Precision Industries

Safran Electrical & Power

Diehl Bgt Defence

ECA Robotics

Zodiac Fluid Equipment

Work highlights

  • Advised and assisted Elta Systems on regulatory aspects of its offset obligations.
  • Advised and assisted James Fisher Defence in setting up a joint venture with an Indian offset partner and structuring discharge of offsets.
  • Advised and assisted Aero Precision Industries in negotiations with an OEM for a tender by the Indian Navy.

Wadia Ghandy & Co

Wadia Ghandy & Co. receives high peer praise for its aviation expertise, particularly across all manner of relevant disputes. Regulatory, contractual, financing and refinancing matters are also handled. Marylou Bilawala is the key partner.

ALMT Legal

Aviation practice heads Sameer Tapia and S R Arun of ALMT Legal advise a range of domestic and international carriers on regulatory and transactional issues including aircraft registrations and deregistrations, leasing and financings, company restructurings and corporate governance. Cargo claims and leasing disputes are also handled.

Practice head(s):

Sameer Tapia; S R Arun

Key clients

Aviators India Private Limited, Aviators Air Rescue Private Limited

Stellarjet Private Limited

IAG Cargo (formerly known as British Airways World Cargo)

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing IAG Cargo, a British air cargo provider in defending a commercial suit filed against it before the Bombay High Court.
  • Providing legal advice on aviation-related agreements such as charter agreements, aircraft leasing agreements and pilot employment agreements.
  • Providing legal advice on various matters including aviation-related agreements and aircraft lease agreements.

BRUS CHAMBERS, Advocates & Solicitors

Aviation specialist Suhail Farooqui leads the practice at BRUS CHAMBERS, Advocates & Solicitors and is retained by a client roster of international airlines and leasing companies. Aircraft leasing arrangements, registrations and deregistrations, part purchases and maintenance contracts are regularly handled.

PDS Legal

Vihang Virkar handles aviation instructions at PDS Legal  including aircraft and engine financing, commercial leasing, MRO transactions and commercial aviation contracts for a suite of airline operators. M&A and other corporate activity in the aviation sector is also a strong point.